Stephen F. Lefler, MD, section chair
Michael G. Cope, MD, section secretary-treasurer, participated in the ACOG Treasurer’s Conference in January. William W. Greenfield, MD, section vice chair, and I attended the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference, in Washington, DC, March 3–5.
Dr. Greenfield and I will also be attending the District VII Interim Advisory Council Meeting in New Orleans in conjunction with the ACOG Annual Clinical Meeting in May. Additionally, I was invited by C.M.A. Max Rogers IV, MD, Alabama Section chair, to attend the Alabama Section Annual Meeting later that week. I look forward to this event.
The Section Advisory Council will meet in June in conjunction with the Arkansas Section Annual Meeting.
Christopher M. Lynch, MD, section chair
The Kansas Legislature is in session until early May. Several bills related to health care are up for discussion, including a bill that would expand nurse practitioner scope of practice to allow global signature authority and independent prescription authority. The Kansas Medical Society opposes this bill.
The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on a resolution urging the Legislature not to expand Medicaid. Proponents are concerned about the federal government’s ability to fully cover the cost of the program.
William D. Binder, MD, section chair
The Louisiana Section Advisory Council met on December 15 and hosted Jennifer Marusak, Louisiana State Medical Society director of government affairs, and Michelle Alleto, Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative deputy director, as speakers. On March 9, the section held its annual meeting in New Orleans with presentations from W. Allen Hogge, MD, on genetic screening and diagnosis; Belinda M. Sartor, MD, on reproductive endocrinology; and Bates Whiteside, CPA, on financial planning. Ms. Marusak and Ms. Alleto were again present to give members an update on activities throughout the state.
Louisiana is entering a period of measurement, accountability, and required improvement. Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge is using software to track admissions and compare its doctors to others in Baton Rouge and across the country. We live in a time of tight money. Reimbursements to hospitals and doctors are being slashed. The question before us is: “How are we going to do more with less?”
Woman’s Hospital and all other birthing centers in Louisiana are participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Perinatal Collaborative. The Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative and a group from the National Governors Association are both looking at ways to improve perinatal outcomes. The March of Dimes and Baton Rouge Collaborative to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes are focused on similar projects.
Francisco J. Ruiloba, MD, section chair
The academic exchange between Mexico and the US is invaluable to our section members. The US is a leader in technological breakthroughs in equipment, medical material, and pharmacological research. Our border is a permeable membrane that provides the possibility to share many things, including the knowledge and practice of ob-gyn.
Section members want to exchange experiences and meet face-to-face with colleagues in the US. The Mexico Section has implemented two annual, bi-national courses. We invite all members of District VII who wish to speak and share their knowledge at these meetings to contact any of the Mexico Section officers.
Wayne A. Slocum, MD, section chair
The Mississippi Section will honor Richard “Pete” Hollis, MD, past ACOG president, past District VII chair, and past Mississippi Section chair, at the Mississippi Annual Section Meeting in May. Dr. Hollis will be the first recipient of the Annual Mississippi Legends in Ob-Gyn Award.
We are working with Lynn Evans, section lobbyist, to stay abreast of introduced legislation and to make sure our voices are heard. Increasing participation from members across the state is a high priority for the section. If you are interested in becoming involved in legislative activities, please contact any of the Mississippi Section officers.
George P. Hubbell, MD, MS, section chair
Missouri lost its medical liability noneconomic cap six months ago when the State Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Currently, a concentrated legislative effort to restore the cap has resulted in bills introduced in the Missouri House and Senate for a statutory resolution. Additionally, a resolution to propose the cap as a constitutional amendment has been introduced. The amendment would ultimately require a state vote.
Missouri has not made a decision on Medicaid expansion as a part of the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Jay Nixon, along with a large coalition of medical groups, including the Missouri State Medical Association and Missouri Section, has endorsed the potential to opt into the expansion. The Republican supermajority in the Missouri Legislature has opposed adoption to date, offering a voucher alternative. The majority payer for deliveries in Missouri is Medicaid, which affects most practicing obstetricians in the state.
Nirupama K. DeSilva, MD, section chair
The Oklahoma legislative session has started. There are multiple hot topics this year, and section members should share their opinions. Call your legislative representatives about issues that concern you, and encourage your patients to do the same. If you need assistance with these endeavors, contact Joetta J. Cunningham, section staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on member activities, including an archive of our monthly e-blasts, visit the Oklahoma Section website.
Christopher T. Welsch, MD, section chair
The Tennessee Section expects to see challenges in 2013 or 2014 to Tennessee’s caps on noneconomic damages and precertification of lawsuits. These reform measures have been responsible for the significant decrease in liability premiums physicians have experienced statewide over the last few years. There will likely be challenges to allow midlevel providers to practice fully independent of physicians as well.
The Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care and Tennessee Section are discussing collaborative efforts to benefit Tennessee ob-gyns and the patients we serve. Paul G. Stumpf, MD, and Bobby C. Howard, MD, spearheaded a teleconference-accessible maternal grand rounds program available to all physicians in the state. Upcoming events will be announced via email.